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Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend Paperback – January 10, 2023
by Graham Russell Gao Hodges (Author)

Anna May Wong remains one of Hollywood’s best-known Chinese American actors.

Between 1919 and 1960, Anna May Wong starred in over fifty movies, sharing billing with stars such as Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Ramon Novarro, and Warner Oland. Her life, though, is the prototypical story of an immigrant’s difficult path through the prejudices of American culture.

Born in Los Angeles in 1905, she was the second daughter of seven children born to a laundryman and his wife. Childhood experience fueled her fascination with Hollywood. By 1919 she secured a small part in her first film, The Red Lantern, and she continued to act up until her death. Her most famous film roles were in The Toll of the Sea, Peter Pan, The Thief of Baghdad, Old San Francisco, and Shanghai Express.

But discrimination against Asians, in both in the film industry and society, was commonplace, and when it came time to make a film version of Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth, she was passed over for the Chinese female lead role, which was ultimately given to the white actor Luise Rainer.

In a narrative that recalls the pathos of life in Los Angeles’s Chinese neighborhoods and the glamour of Hollywood’s pleasure palaces, Graham Russell Gao Hodges recovers the life of a Hollywood legend.

Graham Russell Gao Hodges is the George Dorland Langdon Jr. Professor of History and Africana and Latin American Studies at Colgate University. He is the author of Taxi! A Social History of the New York City Cabdriver, Black New Jersey: 1664 to the Present Day, and David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City. He lives in Hamilton, New York.

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chicago Review Press (January 10, 2023)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1641608838
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1641608831
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.06 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
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